SBD/March 7, 2011/Finance

MSG Budgeting For Arena Renovation To Cost More Than $977M

MSG has moved up construction plans for renovation, making them more costly
MSG Inc. Friday said that it is "prepared for the cost of renovating its namesake arena to balloon," according to Nat Worden of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. MSG President & CEO Hank Ratner said that it "would be 'imprudent' at this time to forecast the total cost of the long-awaited renovation of Madison Square Garden, but the company is budgeting for more than" $977M. Previously, MSG "had pegged the total cost of the renovation at between" $775-850M. Ratner said that MSG "had moved up some construction plans, making them a bit more costly." He added that the project overall is "proceeding as expected" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/5). BARRON'S Teresa Rivas reported shares of MSG "were down nearly 5% before the week's trading came to a close," as investors "were spooked by lower-than-anticipated revenue and the costs of the renovations of its namesake arena" (BARRONS.com, 3/4). MSG Sports revenue in Q4 was up 4.1% to $128.7M "because of higher ticket sales," but cash flow was "down 15.8% to $3.2 million because of higher SG&A expenses and $2.4 million in certain team personnel transaction expenses" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 3/4). FOX BUSINESS' Matt Egan noted MSG stock "has soared nearly 50% over the past year" (FOXBUSINESS.com, 3/4). MSG officials Friday said that the "reinvigorated" Knicks "saw positive trends in the fourth quarter as higher ratings have led to higher advertising rates and demand." Season tickets have "sold out, and there is a wait list for next season, which executives predicted would further benefit from the recent acquisition" of F Carmelo Anthony (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 3/4).
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Madison Square Garden, Finance

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